People, Environment

Studies Required for Gorgan Bay Project

Studies Required for Gorgan Bay Project Studies Required for Gorgan Bay Project

The project underway on dredging canals and straits feeding Gorgan Bay and Miankaleh Wetland should be postponed until ecological studies are carried out, said the head of Iran's National Committee of Ramsar Convention.

Speaking to ISNA, Masoud Baqerzadeh Karimi added that dredging Chapoqli Strait, located between Gorgan Bay and the Caspian Sea is not logical, because its feasibility studies have not been completed.

The once-thriving Gorgan Bay, covering an area of about 400 square kilometers, is the largest inlet in the southeastern part of Caspian Sea, which is now on the road to depletion and what little water remains there is threatened by pollution.

The authorities have recently started a rescue project, comprising a comprehensive and emergency phase. The phase is a short-term solution that involves dredging and cleaning up Chapoqli, Qarehsou, Sarkalateh, Baghu, Gaz, Balajaddeh, Shast Kalateh, Miandarreh and Shesh Dangeh waterways to improve their conditions.

According to Karimi, collecting data on water level, salinity and freshwater proportion is necessary for the rescue project.

"We have no clear idea of how much saline water should be siphoned from the Caspian Sea to the bay," he said.

Pointing to the importance of preserving the ecological features of Gorgan Bay and Miankaleh Wetland, the official said transferring too much saline water would disrupt the ecological balance of the area, endanger the life of endemic aquatic species and birds, and turn the bay into a part of Caspian Sea.

Karimi also elaborated on two possible harmful results.

"Dredging Chapoqli Strait could either cause the remaining freshwater in the bay to be dragged out to the Caspian Sea or destroy the ecological balance of the area as a result of feeding the bay with too much saline water," he said, stressing the importance of prior studies.


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